A crowd favourite of the Rotorua Bike Festival is back this year, giving people the unique opportunity to take flight on their wheels at the airport runway.

Ride the Runway organiser Mark Leishman says this will be the fourth edition of the event at the Rotorua Bike Festival.

He thinks it is a crowd favourite because it is free and anyone can ride.

"It's a cool opportunity. It's not something you can do anytime - to ride on something so smooth and traffic free."


Mark says Ride the Runway was originally a Rotorua Lakes Council idea, as it was looking for a cool community event which everyone could be involved in.

He says there are usually a couple of events which happen within Ride the Runway in the morning, and this year there will be a duathlon event with biking and running.

However, the core ride is open to anyone of any age. It is also open to any variety of bicycle, as long as it is a pedal-powered contraption, he says.

People can ride around the course as many times as they like within the allotted amount of time.

Mark says he enjoys putting on the "genuine community event".

"I like the fact this is something free that literally anyone can turn up and be a part of.

"Don't worry about what your bike is. Even if it hasn't been ridden for 10 years, pump the wheels up and come ride."

Jeff Bones takes his penny-farthing for a spin on the runway last year. Photo / File
Jeff Bones takes his penny-farthing for a spin on the runway last year. Photo / File

People can register for Ride the Runway on the day and there is a website and Facebook page for information and updates. Go to www.ridetherunway.co.nz.


The Rotorua Bike Festival is now in its sixth year and will feature 32 events over 10 days.

It is running from October 19 to 28 and has a mixture of new events and crowd favourites.

The full programme is available at rotoruabikefestival.com/programme.